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Sharjah to ban single-use plastic bags from January 2024

Sharjah will ban single-use plastic bags and materials from January 1, 2024, it was announced on Tuesday. In preparation for the move, from October 1 this year, sales outlets in the emirate will charge consumers 25 fils for each single-use plastic bag they ask for.

From January 1, 2024, it will be prohibited to trade, produce, offer or import single-use plastic bags and materials in the emirate. According to a resolution issued by the Sharjah Executive Council, environmentally-friendly alternatives and multi-use bags will be provided to shoppers.

The resolution aims to protect the environment from the dangers of plastic pollution. It will encourage a culture of sustainability among residents by reducing the use of single-use bags till they are totally banned.

Authorities will ensure that the use of multi-use bags is governed by sustainability standards. These bags will be subject to technical specifications approved by the Department of Municipal Affairs.

Sales outlets are also required to inform consumers about the 25-fil tariff, raise their awareness about risks and guide them to use alternatives. Stores are also required to reduce the consumption of such bags.

The Department of Municipal Affairs has been tasked with formulating plans and policies to implement the ban. It will also undertake consumer awareness programmes to help residents switch to multi-use and environment-friendly bags.

The resolution is in implementation of directives issued by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

In Abu Dhabi, a ban on single-use plastics went into effect on June 1, while in Dubai, since July 1, retailers have been charging 25 fils per bag. Interestingly, retailers in Dubai told Khaleej Times that they have seen a 40 per cent drop in the use of such bags within a month.

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